Election 2019

Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to run for president and when I found out how much that would cost, I decided to run for an open seat on our city council. Now, I’ve never been overly fond of politics or politicians, but I thought I’d give it try any way. What I learned is–I was right to distrust the political machinery, even in a local election. Corruption has a stench that reaches into the hearts of small towns as well as big cities.

I followed the procedures I was given to get on the ballot–getting the required number of signatures, filing all the paperwork and having it done before deadline. On Memorial Day–2019,  I was told I had a target on my back. I heard what was said, but really didn’t give it much thought. “What can they do to me?” I thought. I knew there was nothing negative anyone would be able to find on me and if anything were publicized, it would have to be because someone made it up. Well, they did, but that didn’t stop me.

So, about a month or two before the election on November 5, 2019, I found out the plot–an 83 year-old white man who had been the former mayor and councilmember was running for the council seat because he didn’t want another African American on the council (we had one who got there by manipulation). Then things got really juicy. I was provided the man’s historical stance in trying to keep Black people out of the city–from blocking the sale of a building to a Black Church, to manipulating the Council into buying the building–only to discover once the city couldn’t afford the upkeep and had to close the building, the building ended up in the hands of a Black Church, anyway.

The name of the city was changed because it included the word, “Detroit” because some people didn’t want the association with the bigger city. About 20 years ago, the Black population was insignificant to most, but since then (around 2008), the numbers have been growing and now, it is believed that 40% of population is Black.

In 2017, the city was sued by the Department of Justice for allegedly violating civil rights voting laws. In November of 2017, a Black person was elected (primarily because of split votes between five Black candidates). In June of 2019, the city and DOJ reached a settlement–the city would use Ranked Choice Voting to establish a pathway for minority candidates to be elected. I ran, but was not successful in my bid for the seat because (viola) the plot to keep me off the council worked (name recognition).

How did it work? The “former mayor” of over 20 years ago, put out campaign signs for himself, another council candidate and a mayoral candidate. Whether others were involved remains to be discovered, but I’m guessing, someone will talk and someone else will hear about it. With the three signs put together in various locations, it gave the impression the three candidates were running as a team or slate (and since the three candidates were white, it made the DOJ lawsuit very relevant). And apparently, that’s how a number of people saw it–manipulation at work.

On election day, November 5, 2019, before the polls closed, the spouse of one of the candidates for council (the incumbent) happened to hold a conversation with a poll worker that he didn’t know, was there for me (correction–he did know). He laid out the entire plan (that was misunderstood by source). “My wife and Henry (pseudonym)  will win, and Mary will get a 1000 votes, then we’ll offer her an opportunity to apply for an appointment” (contextually, this was not reported with full knowledge and understanding of what was being said. The 1000 vote reference was about past experiences for candidates to win).

I got 1061 votes and the next day when we were given the results of the election, I was asked to consider applying for the appointment of a vacated seat. (This blog post ignited conversations–perhaps needed conversations in order to clear the air of any all misunderstandings. However, looking at the “entire” situation, without parsing–the optics were not good and possibly led to the misunderstandings, but I am yet analyzing to understand the motivation that prompted this entire discussion).

While I was considering applying, I got the word not to take it because it had been pre-planned and was possibly in violation of the Open Meetings Act. The way it was explained to me, by someone who had first-hand knowledge of the manipulative way the council worked. Some time ago, a seat was vacated and a number of people applied for the appointment. After the interviews, some were told they were sure to get it, but they didn’t. One of the interviewees found out later that a member of the council was friends with the wife of one of the interviewees and had been promised the positioned. The other person felt this was a waste of his time and since that “policy” was apparently the status quo, he didn’t want me involved with shenanigans. I’m grateful for the info.

Here’s what was offered: I would get the vote for the appointment as long as another person didn’t apply for it. I have documentation of what was said, just in case one or more of parties involved happens to read this. I love paper trails. And for those reading, before jumping to conclusions, try to understand how I perceived what I did. Being a minority, brings a certain mistrust to a number of situations and when a person “watches” what happens (not just hears), I tend to look a little closer look at everything, not just one thing. I’ve been told before that perhaps, I’m too analytical and that may be true, but being analytical means I examine all sides of an issue before drawing definitive conclusions. Note: DOJ has since responded to an inquiry by me and confirmed what I already knew–name recognition used as a means to choose candidates–will not change using Ranked Choice Voting. Basically, nothing much will ever change unless a person changes their name and that still may not work.

So, my proposal to fill the vacant seat is to appoint the person who was already voted for by the residents, rather than have 4-member council (likely divided) to try to make the decision. Based upon the “vacancy” section in the city charter, the council appoints the person to fill the vacancy–“before the DOJ settlement decree” and since the rules for voting changed, there should also be a change  in filling a vacancy since the Election Results record shows, how the next person ranked on the ballots with the residents’ input. The one thing the “plotters” overlooked is who would win the mayor’s seat, but that’s for another article. In that article, I’ll explain how “manipulation” won the day over egos. After all, the same manipulation that worked the first time around–when five Black candidates were in the race, won again–vote splitting–a winning strategy.

Too bad manipulation won’t hold seat. Tick-tock–the 6 month clock is running! Being escorted out a bar for being drunk (and I can imagine disorderly) right before an election–is not a good look and certainly not a “good representation” of self or city.

More next time! Keep watching as the “world turns and manipulation rules” in Eastpointe, MI! At the behest of the residents, I’m going to apply for the appointment and we’ll see how that works, in 2019. If it wasn’t for the residents, I’d call it a day and move on with my life–still helping where I can–but without the weight of corrupt politicism as a burden.

Author’s note: While some folks were trying to block me from winning an election out of pure racial bias, they forgot to keep watch of the mayoral candidate–who just happened to be Black–and won. Talk about Irony!

 

 

I’m Convinced!

I’m Convinced!

Reviewing news coverage about the number of incidents that occur between white people and the police and black people and the police, I’m convinced that there is a conspiracy by law enforcement officers to “kill black people” when they’re confronted, but to “save” the white people (with a few exceptions).

How many black people (predominantly male) have been killed just because of their skin color? Not many institutions will ever acknowledge the number because then they’d have to realize the stark truth of the matter–black people are targeted by their skin color, not necessarily by any alleged crime committed.

Eric Garner–killed when a white police officer refused to listen to him when he told him he couldn’t breathe. Why? I’m betting the mindset was, “one down and how many more to go?” Now, keep in mind, Eric Garner had no weapon of any kind. But then, a white male walks into a Walmart with bullet-proof vest and assault weapon and he’s, “talked down” with no one even drawing a weapon on him.

How many times must black men tolerate being profiled by police officers and “white citizenry” who proclaim fear for their lives just because a black person was in their presence?

Now, to get some perspective on the situation, let me ask this question: How many videos have been made and promoted on social media showing a black person calling the police on a white person just because they were taking up the same air space? How many times have we seen videos of white people, calling the police on black people just because they were black and then making up “absurd” excuses as to why they called. But then again, we’ve seen many videos in which white people harass and try to bully anyone of another ethnicity simply because. Is this the America we all love or is this the America trump has unleashed, full of hatred and bigotry?

I wish I knew Spanish well enough to hold a conversation within hearing range of a bigoted jerk just so I’d have a chance to tell them exactly what I think of them.

People who are fearful–have not love or humanity within them.

People who hate are fearful.

Since I do not fear people, nor do I hate them, I’m free to love all–primarily because I love myself and have love to give to others. I care about the plight of people and when I see injustice, I get angry and want to fight for the rights of others–no matter how many or who I’d be fighting against. I will always stand up for the marginalized groups that are targeted by bigoted, hateful people. We cannot allow hate to severely impact how our children live and play with others or how we all interact with one another. We are all human beings and I am convinced, once we understand that one simple fact and if we have even an iota of humanity within us, we’ll stop the hate!

I’m convinced–the only way we’ll stop all the foolishness we see reflected in our society right now is when we’re willing to sit down and talk “to” each other, not “at” each other. I’m convinced we’ll discover we have more in common than we don’t have; we all want to protect our children, live in a safe environment, and have the means to support our families. We should all want the planet to survive our existence so our grandchildren and great grandchildren will enjoy clean air and water and non-toxic soil so they’ll have food to eat. I’m convinced, I’m not the only person who feels this way and what I’d like to see is for everyone who “knows” not thinks, that all human beings deserve to be respected as such would do just that–treat other human beings the way any of us would want to be treated.

If we are unable to do that, I’m convinced we will have failed as Americans, human beings, and examples for others.  We don’t have to agree with everyone else, but we must learn how to disagree agreeably, respecting the rights of others to disagree with us, without calling them names or trying to dehumanize them. It is a very “weak” person who uses such tactics against other human beings.

I’m convinced–we can save the nation by putting aside our need to make us feel superior to others. None of us are superior to any others since we are all, flawed, imperfect beings. Now, let’s convince law enforcement, not to be fearful of black people, until they have ascertained credible reason to fear them. Let’s treat all transgressors of the law the same and try to save them for the judicial system to handle.

If you’re convinced of the same, I’d like to hear from you so we can work together to get America Back On The Right Track!

 

Are We Convinced Racism Still Exists in America?

Are We Convinced Racism Still Exists in America?

This has been a truly revealing week — and yet for many of us — it’s been a confirmation of what we already knew. A racist bigot occupies the White House and with every tweet, he proves it.

But it’s not just trump — the occupant in the White House— it’s the GOP in Congress who refuse to call him out on his racist behavior and comments or the treasonous rhetoric and his love for dictators. While we know trump is a racist, we may have tried to not conclude those in Congress were also just as racist as he is. Oh, we about some of them — the ones who are hard to miss or ignore like: Steve King Chuck Grassley, Tom Cotton, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy, John Cornyn, Mitch McConnell and others. So, when we think about all the elected officials who are racist bigots, we have to look at those who elected them and knew what they were.

Though their numbers (the racist GOP in Congress) may be few, look at the number of people they represent from their respective states who put them there! Look at the people who chanted, “send her back” when trump attacked, without evidence — Ilhan Omar — lying about what she has said (he forgets she’s apologized for some statements). They were clearly supportive of his racist stance in wanting to deport a woman of color who just happens to be Muslim. And then, the next day, he claims he didn’t like the chant and he didn’t say it. Really? Didn’t he say in a tweet that the women of color in Congress (Rashida, Ilhan, Ayanna, and AOC) who disagreed with him, and wouldn’t say “nice things” about him should go back where they came from? Lindsey Graham confirmed that had Ilhan Omar been wearing a red cap and embraced trump, he never would have said anything about her. And that’s a problem — trump only wants people in this country who will praise him and kiss his behind and go along with whatever he wants.

But I digress. He doesn’t understand democracy, any of America’s history regarding the tropes he uses that are racist and pervasive and he doesn’t care. He understands how to project fear into the hearts of those who feel they have somehow been victimized by people of color — without evidence — and it gives them the right to hate. His only goal is to win — by any means necessary — and we know he’ll use Russia’s help again to deliberately spread disinformation and misinformation to build the fear. What’s truly sad to watch is all the gullible people who praise him, thinking he cares about them. He doesn’t. They are simply a means to an end — his staying in the White House to avoid prosecution for all the crimes he’s committed.

So, here’s my message to the sane and rational people who have not yet succumbed to drinking the orange Kool Aid — recognize racism exists, how it keeps a stronghold on people, and then do everything you can to wipe it out of existence. A tall order I know, but we have to begin somewhere and it might as well be now.

Call out racism — wherever you see it, by whoever is guilty of it, even if it’s a friend or family member.

Never accept anyone’s justification for being a racist unless they can provide unequivocal evidence that proves whatever they’re saying is true.

Learn to love all humanity and treat everyone with respect especially those with whom we disagree. We can disagree agreeably without igniting fear that could lead to violence.

In our corner of the world in America, we must learn to take a stand and speak up wherever we find injustice (racism, despotism, etc.). Where there are those who are afraid to speak up, we must become the voice of reason and speak for them. And we must vote — in every election — knowing who it is we are voting for who will represent all the people, not just some of the people.

I’ve encountered blatant racism while campaigning for our governor last year, but it didn’t deter me, it ignited a desire in me to run for office — on the local level — and do my part to combat racism by demonstrating that people of color are capable of leading the masses no matter who the masses are. When we learn to see “a human being” in front of us, not just a person of a certain race, we start to unravel the misconceptions that have led to racism still existing in America. I love my city and I know because of the people I know — racism doesn’t exist in their hearts, but I can’t ignore the fact that in the hearts of some — it still exists.

The people with whom I have a relationship with — friends, family social media followers — know I don’t care about a person’s ethnicity — I care about them and how I’m treated and I always try to encourage others and tell them I love them — even those I haven’t met. It’s just that simple. We can bring racism to an end if we really want to do so, by minimizing the impact we allow the haters to have on what we do (unless challenged or threatened with bodily harm). It’s our choice. We can feed their egos and animosity or we can focus on bringing communities together and let the world see who we really are —American Patriots who care about all.

On another note — running for any office takes money — even the local races — and I want to make sure I’m in position to represent my community well and to be “a voice for them.” We’re short $1K in meeting our budget goal by August 1, 2019. Will you help with a $5 donation to help me with this election so I can stay focused on shredding racism in my little corner of America? Thank you! Real change begins, locally and spreads outward. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/committee-2-elect-mary-hall-rayford-1

If you want to know more about me and the issues and concerns I’m addressing, please check me out on facebook.com/EPCityCouncilCandidate.

No Checks/No Balance Of Power

No Checks/No Balance Of Power

Don’t know how many people feel about the current state of affairs in America with the lack of respect for our Constitution. Considering the fact that the Founding Fathers understood that at some point, the time would come when the balance of power would be challenged and we’re here. This White House administration has flatly refused to honor the Constitutional features of checks and balances and is operating as an authoritarian entity. That is not what America is supposed to be.

In 2017, the GOP Congress–both House and Senate–abdicated their responsibility to keep trump checked and in 2018–the people spoke and won the House. Even though the Democratic House has the Congressional Power to do its oversight, they are meeting roadblock after roadblock with the administration who obviously has much to hide from the public. And that’s the key. The White House is the “People’s House” and everything that pertains to the American public should be public knowledge–especially “private meetings with our adversaries, trump’s taxes, and his business financials. The liar-in-chief is hiding the truth for a reason and we, the American public, should not be left in the dark about what he’s doing or has done and we need to know how obligated he is to the murderous dictators he’s so fond of praising.

Granted, the House can’t stop who he praises, but they can take other measures that limit his ability to put America in harm’s way. An impeachment inquiry is needed ASAP! Donald J. Trump is a threat to national security since he obviously shares information with his foreign dictator buddies. He has openly revealed his plans to use Russian or any other foreign assistance to help cheat during the 2020 election. I’m absolutely sure our intelligence community is aware of all the communications he and staff make to ensure this happens. I’m equally sure that he can be stopped.

It’s time, House Democrats to put a lid on this situation before it boils over and severely creates a crisis of humongous proportions in which many will lose their lives. War with Iran is not out of the question and since his 4th of July charade was apparently an attempt to recruit to the military, he underscores that possibility.

There can be no balance of power within our government if every branch of the government is not exercising all of its ability to check the White House. Congressional Oversight is meant to be a check on the Executive branch in order to keep “all Americans” safe and secure within this country. We are failing miserably because Democrats follow the rule of law. So, the judicial branch, no matter how overtly biased in its composition, must adhere to the “intent and spirit” of the Constitution (as well as the words) to support Congress in their attempt to conduct oversight. Do The Right Thing to protect America and all those who reside within our borders. Let trump know–again–SCOTUS you are not his judges any more than our military is his military. Help Congress put a stop to the insanity, NOW!

**This message has been brought to you, the readers and to Congress by one fed-up American who is tired of the stupid. My name is Mary Hall-Rayford and I approve this message. If anyone reading wants to share and forward to their Congressional representatives, please feel free to do so.**truth

A New Chapter For $5

A New Chapter For $5

I’m embarking upon a new chapter in my life, right now, instead of in 2020. Some time ago (2017), I said I was going to run for President in 2020 because I know I could do a better job than the person in the White House right now. Well, reality sunk in when I realized it would cost far more money than I had a network to raise–roughly $67 million.

Last summer I campaigned for our Governor and a number of other candidates who won their election. In January of 2019, I decided to run for a City Council seat in my family town. A number of people thought it was a great idea and pledged to support my run. Many have followed through and have been very supportive and I hope, all will help me cross the finish line in November.

Until then, political campaigns cost money and again, I face the reality that one of the reasons many politicians win elections is because they either have money or access to money. I’m a retired educator with limited resources, but a big heart and strong passion for helping people. I’ve been in public service for most of my life–volunteering or working for non-profits. I know what it means to serve the public.

Now, I stand in need of financial support and most of the people I will be representing are just as strapped for cash as I am, so I’m running a campaign with a request for $5. If enough people contribute $5 (or more), I’ll reach my goal of $5000 which will pay for campaign literature and yard signs. I’m not too proud to beg, hence, I’m writing this blog to capture the hearts of those who understand my quest. I’m not seeking fame or fortune, but an opportunity to help a number of people by being a voice for them on our City Council. Will you help with a $5 donation? I don’t want to have any debt hanging over me when this election is over so I need to make sure I can pay for everything as I need it.

Thanks for considering my political run and donating $5, even if you don’t live in my little family town. Every dollar raised will be used to win this election so the people can be heard–through me. Everyone who has given, has received a hand-written note of thanks from me. Anyone who is a US Citizen can contribute no matter where they live.

Thanks again for the $5!

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/committee-2-elect-mary-hall-rayford-1

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School Readiness

School Readiness

Smooth Transition From Home To Classroom

Are your children ready to make that transition? How do you know?

For children entering a classroom–a structured environment, often for the first time–the experience can be pretty traumatic. In order to make sure a child is ready for the transition, a number of factors should be considered:

  • Does the child know his/her birth certificate name?
  • Does the child know mother/father’s names (other than mama or dad)?
  • Does the child know how to sit still for at least 30 minutes?
  • Does the child demonstrate ability to focus on starting and completing a task (tying shoes, coloring a page in a coloring book, etc.)?
  • Does the child know where their address and parent’s telephone number?
  • Does the child know his/her birth date?
  • Does the child recognize letters of the alphabet?
  • Does the child recognize numbers 0-9?
  • Does the child use the bathroom by themselves?
  • Does the child know how to hold a pencil/crayon?
  • Does the child know how to hold a book?
  • Does the child know how to follow instructions?
  • Does the child know how to socialize appropriately with other children?

The above are the basics that every child should know before they ever cross the threshold of a classroom. Knowing these fundamental basics will insure a child’s success and learning will not be as traumatic as it for those who don’t know. A traumatized child means parents get lots of phone calls from teachers and principals.

A good pediatrician will always tell parents if there are physical or cognitive concerns about a child by the time they’re 3 years old. They monitor physical, fine motor skill development and the child’s ability to follow simple directions. Making sure a child is vaccinated ensures they’ll not infect others or get infected with communicable diseases. Make sure a record is kept of all their developmental milestones in a safe place.

To get a child ready for this monumental occasion, read to them, sing to them, play games with them that ignite a desire to learn and when they get to school, they’ll be ready to learn what the teacher has been prepared to teach. A child who sees a parent read a book is more apt to want to read for themselves. Having a variety of books available for children is a necessity to encourage strong literacy skills.

Breathe deeply–inhale–hold it, now let it out. Helping a child make this transition can be as easy as breathing when you know they’re ready for school. Help them and yourself–make sure they are SCHOOL READY!

 

 

Wisdom In All Things Matter!

Wisdom In All Things Matter!

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have,[fn] get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. Proverbs 4:6-8 NIV

No, I’m going to preach a sermon on wisdom, but I am going to point out why we should all exercise wisdom in everything we say or do. Why? Wisdom protects us from the foolishness consequences we could endure. When we get understanding, of any and all things, we are more likely to exercise wisdom. When we cherish wisdom (not looking down on those who actually exercise wisdom in decisions and not impulsivity), she exalts us and when we embrace–the concept of wisdom and in exercising wisdom–she honors us–publicly and we never have to be ashamed of what we say or do. Has a nerve been touched yet?

I, like many people, have not been impressed with most politicians. I’ve often noticed the lack of integrity and honesty exhibited by many and unfortunately, lumped them into the same category. I was wrong. The politicians elected to office in any capacity are actually more of a reflection of those who voted for them, than who they are. Think about it! We have in the White House, a person who professed not to be  a politician, with the intent of gaining trust from those who were tired of the run-of-the-mill politicians. And the end result–we have a demonstrable illustration of how wisdom was neglected by many who were conned by the con artist. They chose not to “get understanding” of who trump was and is and as a result, we all are enduring the consequences of their impulsivity and lack of understanding. But then again–his election is a reflection of those who voted for him–if we understand who he is, we understand who they are and nothing since the election–disproves this concept.

In order to change the direction this country and the world has taken, we must seek wisdom and understanding like our lives depend on it because they do. We must seek information about every candidate and not just from one source, but many–unbiased sources, so when we vote again for a true leader for this country, we will have exercised wisdom and if we exercise wisdom, she will embrace us and honor us–on a global level–so we won’t be ashamed of our leader in America.

The same is true for those we elect on any level–in every community. We must exercise wisdom in voting for every official who requires a vote. If we elect the wrong people–in any office–many suffer the consequences, but this can be avoided with “research” on every candidate and not just looking at the literature they distribute. I believe in the power of prayer, but I also believe I will not see a manifestation of answered prayer unless I “do” something. “Faith without works is dead.”

So, for the 2019 elections (and beyond) in every locality, let’s all do our due diligence by knowing who it is we’re voting for and understanding how our vote–is a reflection of who we are. If elect people with no integrity–it demonstrates a lack of integrity on our part. We must make sure we know who the candidates are and how they’ll address our concerns and not their own. I’m not promoting a “purity test” for candidates, but a true understanding of where they stand on the issues that matter most to us. Do they really care about the community in which they live? What evidence is available to support that? Are they true public servants or just people trying to get to the next level on their political agenda? Asking tough questions and expecting honest answers is key to knowing how to make a wise decision when it comes to electing officials who will make decisions that impact us all.

Elections should not be a popularity contest between politicians, but an demonstration of the “people’s understanding” about every candidate and all of the possible consequences of their being elected.When I decided earlier this year to drop my aspirations to run for president of the United States, it was not because I didn’t feel qualified to be in the office, but because I acknowledged the fact, I did not have the “networking system” in place to raise $67M dollars–the minimum needed to have a viable campaign. No one had to tell me this; wisdom took over and led me in another direction–to pursue a seat on the city council where I reside. Last summer, while canvassing for our governor’s campaign, I met many wonderful and some not so wonderful people, knocking on doors and talking to others. I realized there is a need in this community for people to have access to those who make decisions that impact them and I want to be part of the solution, not the problems. Whether I win this election or not will be determined by those voting and whether or not, they feel I can represent who they are and what they need. I have no personal agenda other than to make a difference where I live. My plans are only to serve one term and then to get out of the way as I pursue relationship building with those who can carry on when my term is up.

And no, I have no desire to pursue further political ambitions because I have none. But I do want to be in position to help others realize their political ambitions to the extent that I can by sharing my own experience with them and guiding them through the maze that will help them get through to the end, winning.

Go ahead, research me and then contact me if you have any questions about anything I can do to help make life better for all within my community and beyond. I look forward to it. Here’s a good starting place: https://www.facebook.com/EPCityCouncilCandidate/ and since I have multiple social media accounts, feel free to “google” me.

Don’t forget–whatever you do, don’t allow personal biases to influence decisions about elected officials–especially when you don’t know or understand how their views will impact your lives. Remember–wisdom is the principle thing and with all of your getting in life–get understanding before electing someone who causes you to lose sleep and hair.

elect Mary